The best children’s books about astronomy

The Books I Picked & Why

Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil Degrasse Tyson

By Kathleen Krull, Paul Brewer, Frank Morrison

Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil Degrasse Tyson

Why this book?

Starstruck tells the life story of astrophysicist and space enthusiast, Neil deGrasse Tyson. It tracks Neil’s passion for stars from his first visit to the Hayden Planetarium in New York City when he was nine years old to his appointment as director of that very planetarium. As you read, you can’t help being caught up in his excitement. Neil is known for using lots of exclamations, like “Whoa!” and his delight sparks throughout this book. Kids (and maybe adults too) will want to grab a telescope and run outside as soon as they’ve finished the last page.


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Pluto's Secret: An Icy World's Tale of Discovery

By Margaret Weitekamp, David H. DeVorkin, Diane Kidd

Pluto's Secret: An Icy World's Tale of Discovery

Why this book?

Pluto’s Secret is the tale of Pluto’s discovery, naming, and demotion from planet to “icy world.” Along the way, it is jam-packed with details about astronomy, with Pluto jumping in with its endearing point of view. Immersed in Pluto’s world this way, Pluto’s Secret is a fun and upbeat way to learn about planets as well as the way astronomy is done.


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The Mysteries of the Universe: Discover the Best-Kept Secrets of Space

By Will Gater

The Mysteries of the Universe: Discover the Best-Kept Secrets of Space

Why this book?

The Mysteries of the Universe is a fantastic astronomy reference book for children. It covers everything from the Milky Way to exoplanets. Each entry includes an illustration along with a short, easy to understand explanation. It’s a gorgeous and fascinating book that would be great for any budding astronomer.


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Margaret and the Moon

By Dean Robbins, Lucy Knisley

Margaret and the Moon

Why this book?

Margaret and the Moon tells the story of Margaret Hamilton, who wrote the computer code that was key to the US first landing on the moon. The story is full of suspense. Margaret—not the astronauts—is the real hero of the story. But what is best about this book is that it is bursting with curiosity. Margaret wonders, Why are there only DADDY Longlegs? Why aren’t more girls scientists? How big is the moon? And with each of her questions, readers themselves became more and more curious! Isn’t that fabulous?!


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Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations

By Jacqueline Mitton, Christina Balit

Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations

Why this book?

The Greeks imagined a whole menagerie of animals in the stars, but the constellations can sometimes be difficult to figure out. National Geographic’s Zoo in the Sky changes all that. It lines up the stars with Christina Balit’s vibrant artwork, bringing the Great Bear, the Great Dog and the other animal constellations to life. It’s a gorgeous way to learn and enjoy the stars for both young and old readers alike.


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